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About the Forum

Attendees across the region have come to expect a dynamic agenda with relevant, up-to-the-minute topics and exciting speakers who will share their wealth of knowledge and experience, helping you gain practical insights into your business challenges. The Premier CIO Forum includes powerful keynotes, informative breakouts, discussions with subject-matter experts, and cutting-edge solution providers.

40 Advisors

Our advisory council members offer valuable feedback to improve our event each year.

11 Sponsors

Premier would like to extend a special thank you to the 2018 sponsors of this event.

122 Organizations

These organizations have appointed one or more senior level executives to attend Pittsburgh CIO Forum.


Speakers are hand-selected by our Advisory Council for their expertise and ability to translate big ideas into stunning presentations.

  •  Mary Ann Blair

    Mary Ann Blair

    Carnegie Mellon University


  •  Steven Carter

    Steven Carter


    VP IS&T & CIO

  •  Tom Crea

    Tom Crea

    Blackhawk Leadership Development

    Author, Leadership Development Speaker & Coach

  •  Tom Dugas

    Tom Dugas

    Duquesne University

    Director Information Security

  •  Joey Fernandes

    Joey Fernandes

    Wind River Environmental

    Director of IT

  • Dr. Chris Howard

    Dr. Chris Howard

    Robert Morris University

    8th President

  •  Traci Hudson

    Traci Hudson

    The Steve Trautman Co.

    Consultant & Former IT Executive

  •  Michael Kubit

    Michael Kubit

    Penn State University

    VP & CIO

  •  Steve Mancini

    Steve Mancini

    National Cyber-Forensics & Training Alliance (NCFTA)


  •  Neal Petersen

    Neal Petersen

    No Barriers International

    Motivational Speaker

  •  Julia Poepping

    Julia Poepping

    Copasec LLC

    Founder & Principle Consultant

  •  Joseph Pucciarelli

    Joseph Pucciarelli


    Group VP & IT Executive Advisor

  •  James Ringold

    James Ringold

    Westinghouse Electric Company


  •  Dan Roberts

    Dan Roberts

    Ouellette & Associates


  •  Skip Shelly

    Skip Shelly

    Carnegie Mellon University

    Associate Teaching Professor & MHCI Faculty Director

  •  Steve Trautman

    Steve Trautman

    The Steve Trautman Co.

    Principal & Founder

Introduction from Neal Petersen

In sharing his captivating, uniquely delivered and extraordinary life-story, Neal delivers a powerful message that "There Are No Barriers – Only Solutions!"

"Neal is one of the most inspiring, dynamic and thought provoking speakers you will ever witness, he is mesmerizing"


September 19-20, 2018

We have worked diligently to put together a stimulating and focused agenda, bringing together experts, visionaries and professionals from the IT industry. We look forward to sharing this exciting conference with you.

Dan Roberts, CEO, Ouellette & Associates

Steven Carter, VP IS&T & CIO, CNX

Michael Kubit, VP & CIO, Penn State University

The IT agenda for 2018 is bigger and bolder than ever. Modernization. Automation. Transformation. Digitization. Acceleration. Innovation. The demands placed upon today's CIO and IT overall have never been greater. MIT’s George Westerman confirmed this when he said, "There has never been a better time to be a great CIO or a worse time to be an average one." Join our panel of experts and hear how they are addressing these realities, moving IT higher up the business value curve as "Innovative Anticipators ™" and positioning their companies as industry disruptors."

Dr. Chris Howard, 8th President, Robert Morris University

Networking Pavilion

Joseph Pucciarelli, Group VP & IT Executive Advisor, IDC

Newly published IDC global research about organizations undergoing digital transformation finds that 59% remain stuck in the early stages of their transformation journey. While some digital projects have been implemented and are progressing, most companies report they are still struggling to digitally transform their broader organization.

Challenges with legacy culture, process, and financial incentives are widely identified digital transformation impediments. However, IDC research shows that many organizations confront more specific operational challenges: 1) outdated KPIs, 2) siloed organizational structures, 3) tactical planning, 4) limited expertise; and 5) siloed innovation.  Though business and technical leaders can point to successful tactical projects, they often express frustration about their ability to achieve true systemic progress and competitive advantage.

In today's session, IDC provides unique insights and actionable recommendations to overcome these hurdles including recommended approaches for:
  • Creating new digital KPIs
  • Establishing an end state digital organizational structure
  • Constructing a long-term digital roadmap
  • Identifying and developing essential digital capabilities
  • Building a digital platform

Joey Fernandes, Director of IT, Wind River Environmental

In a world that is extremely agile, more collaborative and more dynamic than ever, many companies and organizations are faced with questions on what to do, how to do it, and how much it will cost. What is the direct or indirect return on this investment? Why would we need a specific technology or professional? All these questions are valid, and we always try to answer them with consistency. More often as leaders in today's world, we need to analyze the real cost of doing nothing. How much do stagnation and lack of planning and execution in digital transformation cost a company, especially in companies with ambitions for rapid and consistent growth? 

Tom Crea, Author, Leadership Development Speaker & Coach, Blackhawk Leadership Development

Do you struggle with meeting anything but routine goals? Is employee turnover is holding you back?

“85% of employees are not engaged or actively disengaged at work.” — Gallup, State of the Global Workplace report, Dec 20, 2017

If your team appears to lack pride in their work or you struggle with meeting anything but routine goals, maybe there are things you could improve upon. More often than not, people quit their bosses, not their jobs.

Why should employees remain dedicated to your team’s goals?

Instill & Fulfill:

  • We join teams or organizations for a reason.  We decide to play by the rules and work together because we believe that we found a place where we can be a part of something greater. Yet, something is missing. Values are like magnets,
  • They are what a company markets to attract like-minded people… recruiting. When you live your values,
  • You create a unique culture, and retain your best people… retention. This session moves beyond leadership fundamentals to understanding and applying effective communication skills, the heart of build relationship and creating winning teams:
  • Everyone wants his or her contributions to matter, and
  • We want to be a part of something greater, a winning team

    In this session, leaders will discover why:

  • Realize the importance of building relationships (Leadership)
  • Recognize perceptions because we all have different vantage points (Communication)
  • Discover why developing others inspires them to do more than you imagined (Teamwork)
Welcome to the Pittsburgh CIO Forum exclusive networking reception. We welcome you to enjoy complimentary beverages and hors d’oeuvres in a relaxed setting. This is the perfect opportunity to network with your peers and some of the prominent speakers from the day’s agenda. Stay, chat, and enjoy yourself!

Admittance by Conference Badge Only.

Neal Petersen, Motivational Speaker, No Barriers International

Introduction from Neal:

South African-born, Neal Petersen is a history-making extreme adventurer, global investor, and award-winning author. Neal has faced many challenges in life – a childhood physical disability, economic hardship, prejudice during the harsh Apartheid era, and other insurmountable barriers and he always turned them into opportunities. In these challenging times of uncertainty, fear and insecurity rise, many CIOs feel like solo sailors, adrift, grasping for survival. Neal lays out the importance of a clearly communicated vision, followed by detailed planning, on how better to navigate the uncharted waters ahead using his remarkable personal story.

Neal completed the "Around Alone", a 27,000 mile yacht race, 9 months at sea, around Cape Horn and its notorious storms – solo, and in the smallest boat he designed and built himself.

In sharing his captivating, uniquely delivered and extraordinary life-story, Neal delivers a powerful message that "There Are No Barriers – Only Solutions!"

"Neal is one of the most inspiring, dynamic and thought provoking speakers you will ever witness, he is mesmerizing"

Traci Hudson, Consultant & Former IT Executive, The Steve Trautman Co.

Steve Trautman, Principal & Founder, The Steve Trautman Co.

The pressure to innovate is relentless. Emergent tech like AI, machine learning and blockchain are the current pressure points for CIOs. Whatever the rising technology trend, without a workforce that can deliver on your innovation strategy you’ll be stuck in the status quo. Join talent risk management expert, Steve Trautman, and Traci Hudson, formerly of US Steel Corporation, for an intimate conversation about what CIOs need to know about their technical experts to unlock a culture of innovation inside their organizations.

Skip Shelly, Associate Teaching Professor & MHCI Faculty Director, Carnegie Mellon University

Tom Dugas, Director Information Security, Duquesne University

Mary Ann Blair, CIO, Carnegie Mellon University

Steve Mancini, CTO, National Cyber-Forensics & Training Alliance (NCFTA)

Julia Poepping, Founder & Principle Consultant, Copasec LLC

James Ringold, CISO, Westinghouse Electric Company

In today’s technology rich climate, hopefully by now every executive including CIO’s already know a great deal about information security. But everyday there is news about new breaches and data leaks and information security has become a dangerous risk to every institution. There doesn’t appear to be any reprieve coming soon.

Executive’s including the CIO can’t know everything there is to know about information security so what would a CISO really wish executives knew about information security but don’t? Or conversely, what do executives and CIO’s know that we are really glad that they do about information security? This panel of leading information security executives will be discussing and debating what every executive should know about information security.


The Regional Learning Alliance

The RLA has many unique characteristics, but none is more evident than our commitment to learning. As a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, every student and visitor is a lifelong learner. Our first priority is dedicated to expanding their knowledge and skills - whether to obtain a degree or to further their professional development.

The Regional Learning Alliance


850 Cranberry Woods Drive, Cranberry Township, PA 16066
(724) 741-1000

more information

Accomodation Alternatives

If not staying at our main venue, we suggest these alternative hotels.

Advisory Council

  •  George Appley

    George Appley

    Concurrent Technologies Corporation

    SVP Technology Group

  •  Eric Aulbach

    Eric Aulbach

    Armstrong Group of Companies

    VP & CIO

  •  Charles Bartel

    Charles Bartel

    Duquesne University

    AVP & CIO

  •  Ronald Beckman

    Ronald Beckman

    Black Box Network Services

    VP & CIO

  •  Cheryl Begandy

    Cheryl Begandy

    Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center

    Director Education, Outreach & Training

  •  Sandra Brandon

    Sandra Brandon

    University of Pittsburgh

    Director Infrastructure

  •  Steven Bugajaski

    Steven Bugajaski

    United States Steel

    General Manager Global IT

  •  Kevin Ceraso

    Kevin Ceraso

    Allegheny Technologies

    VP IT

  •  John Conte

    John Conte

    WESCO Distribution, Inc.

    VP Information Systems

  •  Winford Craig

    Winford Craig

    Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh

    Director IT

  •  Vince DiStasi

    Vince DiStasi

    Grove City College

    VP & CIO

  •  Tom Dugas

    Tom Dugas

    Duquesne University

    Director Information Security

  •  George Guentner

    George Guentner

    Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland

    AVP IT

  •  Traci Hudson

    Traci Hudson

    The Steve Trautman Co.

    Consultant & Former IT Executive

  •  Vince Humes

    Vince Humes

    Northwest Tri-County Intermediate Unit

    Director Innovative Technology Solutions

  •  Mark Husnick

    Mark Husnick



  •  Paul Kaminski

    Paul Kaminski

    Carrnegie Mellon University

    Manager of Telecommunications

  •  Mike Kronenwetter

    Mike Kronenwetter

    PNC Bank

    SVP, Bank Operations Technology

  •  Tony Lalli

    Tony Lalli

    BNY Mellon

    Solutions Architect

  •  Michael Martino

    Michael Martino

    Mylan Pharmaceuticals

    Head of IT Operations

  •  Bruno Mastroianni

    Bruno Mastroianni

    Center for Organ Recovery & Education


  •  Jim McEvoy

    Jim McEvoy

    II-VI Incorporated

    VP IT

  •  Mark Miko

    Mark Miko

    Duquesne Light Company


  •  John Miller

    John Miller


    Founder & CIO

  •  Steve Morrison

    Steve Morrison

    Pittsburgh Sports & Exhibition Center


  •  Mark Ohlund

    Mark Ohlund

    Armada Group

    CIO & SVP IT

  •  Ron Reyer Jr.

    Ron Reyer Jr.

    Bethel Park School District

    Director of Technology

  •  David Ridilla

    David Ridilla

    Westmoreland County


  •  George Rosato

    George Rosato

    CONSOL Energy, Inc.

    VP IT

  •  Robert Sheesley

    Robert Sheesley

    Wrench Group


  •  Steve Smith

    Steve Smith

    Greater Pittsburgh CIO Group

    Managing Partner

  •  Jack Smith

    Jack Smith

    Federated Investors


  •  Ken Sochats

    Ken Sochats


    President & CEO

  •  Ken Spangler

    Ken Spangler

    FedEx Ground


  •  Jay Srini

    Jay Srini

    SCS Ventures

    Chief Strategist

  •  Dennis Strom

    Dennis Strom

    Siemens Healthineers

    Sr. Director IT

  •  Scott Sullivan

    Scott Sullivan


    CIO & CFO

  •  Corky Tate

    Corky Tate

    J2 Interactive


  •  Markus Weber

    Markus Weber

    MSA - The Safety Company

    VP & CIO

  •  Patrick Worms

    Patrick Worms


    Group CIO


Join us this year in Pittsburgh, PA as we discuss cutting-edge technologies with influential thought-leaders.


Premier would like to extend a special thank you to the 2018 sponsors of this event.

Click on a sponsor to learn more!